The past few months have seen some intriguing acquisitions in the food-tech startup world. Each, I predict, will have rather large ripple effects a few years down the road. There’s been a dearth of reporting on these.
1. UberEats acquires David Chang’s delivery startup
His startup Ando—essentially a frictionless sandwich delivery service couched in some clever rhetoric—was acquired by the ever-expanding UberEats.
2. Airbnb seamlessly integrates with reservation startup Resy after providing huge funding
The integration seems to be working decently well so far, but usage seems low. I think when AirBnb acquires one of the eat-with-locals startups & integrates that service with Resy & their existing database, things will get interesting. I think this was a building block towards that master plan. Until now, I’m not convinced people are booking restaurants on AirBnb on a mass scale. There are a few larger successful players in the restaurant reservation space, and lots more quickly growing. Then there’s Google, which is eating up more and more of that process.
3. Vizeat buys Eatwith
Possibly the largest merger on a one-to-one level. These one-time competitors were both vying to become the “Airbnb of meals.” Though neither (and indeed, no one at all) seems to have vanquished this space (or even close), the reigning big fish is now officially Vizeat. They already bought another one-time equal, Cookening. It might be that this is all a slow march to being acquired by Airbnb. We shall see how the userbase expands & how Airbnb itself fares. I’m not convinced this is inevitable. (UPDATE: To add to the confusion to this acquisition, about a month ago Vizeat rebranded as…. EatWith! Is your head spinning yet? I think that’s a good idea, as the name resonates much more & cuts to their core service.)